Turning Page Views Into Music Sales

attorneycross On November - 9 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

The Heretic’s Comment: We found a great article from columnist Angelina Chapin providing strategies regarding turning page views into Album Sales. We highly recommend you read the entire article for yourself, but we have provided some of the article’s direct quotes for your convenience. The following is commentary centered around the band Arcade Fire’s you-tube video release entitled “The Wilderness Downtown“. Okay, enough setup, let’s check out the quotes:

Last month, the band (Arcade Fire) released an online interactive video titled The Wilderness Downtown, a collaboration with Google and American music video director Chris Milk that uses the latest in HTML5 web technology to evoke the feeling of nostalgia expressed in the band’s song “We Used To Wait.” Viewers enter their childhood street address and the video takes them on a virtual tour of their old neighbourhood. Multiple browser windows simultaneously show close-ups of your street via Google Street View, footage of a man running, and an invitation to write a postcard to your childhood self.

When you see something like that, it’s an example of ‘Wow, I guess everything hasn’t been done yet,’” says Alan Cross, host of syndicated Canadian radio show The Ongoing History of New Music, adding he’s not a diehard Arcade Fire fan. “It changed my opinion of them, and I passed it on to everyone because I think it’s so damn cool.

With more than four million visitors to the site so far, the video has surely helped get attention for the band’s new album The Suburbs, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts prior to the video’s release. Sixty-two per cent of sales of The Suburbs have come from digital downloads, compared with half that number for their previous album. And though the band’s management declined to comment on whether there was a direct correlation between the online project and sales, Jordan says it’s not about the short sell anyway. “It’s key to super-serve your core audience,” he says. “By giving things for free, it creates a culture of support where fans don’t mind buying tickets for your show or your album because they know they’re getting more value.

Adding value to a product or service strengthens your clients’ loyalty to your company, explains Nova Scotia-based new media and design consultant Brad Smith, but it has to be done in a way that makes them feel rewarded rather than accosted. Smith advises that his clients always give fans a little extra to help create a sense of exclusivity around a brand. “Social media is intimate,” he says. “When you leak details, it feels to fans that you’re leaking secrets.” For example, he encourages the varsity hockey teams he works with to leak shots of new features on their jerseys so fans can blog about it and create buzz.

Closing Comments:

We want to commend columnist Angelina Chapin again for putting together a very informative article. One of the things to pull away from reading this information is to always stay conscious of the need to reward your Fans with value in exchange for their association with your music. In terms of giving music away for free in order to build fan support, Unfortunately, we have witnessed numerous examples in our law practice where clients feel justified in thinking that free music means SONG REJECTS (music that I don’t  want to release commercially). We have witnessed clients giving away free music consisting of poorly recorded songs as well as (in some cases) songs that are not even fully produced. This is a terrible mistake, because it doesn’t build value between your music and a possible Fanbase building around your music and brand. If you make the decision to give away music for free, then don’t give your potential Fans “SLOP“. In other words, Free should not mean SONG REJECTS. Instead, Free should be viewed as an opportunity to showcase quality material (yes, let us repeat…your commercial, high quality material), so that both established Fans as well as potential new Fans have a low risk way to fall in love with your music and brand.

One last time….never, ever, ever….shortchange your Fans!!! Give them quality with all that you do (and by consistently doing so) you maximize opportunities to turn page views into Album Sales, Merchandise Sales, Live Performance Sales, Sponsorship Sales, Endorsements Sales, Special Appearance Sales, etc…!!!!!!  (you get the picture)

Give us your thoughts


The Music Business Heretic © 2010 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY Movement……..


The Heretic’s Comment: we ran across an article by Zach Baron from the Village Voice Blog discussing his opinions concerning what this year’s bizarre chart results say about the state of the music industry in 2010. Within the article, Mr. Baron proposes that the following rules help explain the bizarre chart results (we will only share Mr. Baron’s bullet points, so we recommend that you read the full article if you have time)

Mr. Baron’s Rules to explain the bizarre music chart results of 2010:

1) Nobody Sells Records Anymore (units sales of 31,000 might put you in the billboard top ten)

2) It Helps to be a Rapper or R&B Singer (Baron argues that Rap/Hop-hop & R&B are the two formats primarily dominating the billboard charts)

3) Perhaps You Can Find an Audience That Has No Idea How to Pirate Music? (Baron argues that there is little incentive for consumers to buy legitimate configurations of musical product)

4) There’s No Such Thing as Indie Rock Anymore (Baron essentially feels that Indie Rock has lost its identity and meaning as a vibrant genre)

Closing Comments:

We don’t agree with all the arguments made by Mr. Baron, but we find it interesting that at least he had the courage to attempt to come up with an explanation concerning why the Billboard Chart numbers are so drastically different from anything we have seen before. What’s even more interesting is to read the comments contained at the bottom of Mr. Baron’s stories. We highly recommend that you read the comments because it provides a great lesson in looking at the subtle (and not so subtle) prejudices people have about the individuals who buy a  certain type of music. (This is the information you need to study and then come up with a solution that will allow you to turn people’s prejudices into a cash flow opportunity for your music)

We want your feedback on Mr. Baron’s Topic. What reasons do you feel best explain why the music charts are so vastly different now from what we saw in years past?



The Heretic’s Comment: We recommend that you read the article in its entirety, because columnist John Meagher of the independent.ie has done a great job of describing how major labels are constantly repackaging old catalog songs into  “supposedly” new product offerings and (in many cases) trick you into essentially buying the same album twice. Check out some of the quotes taken from the article:

Paint A Vulgar Picture’ (a song from Morrissey) details a meeting of record- company executives who are planning to re-release the complete works of a dead star. “Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!” he sings. “Re-evaluate the songs/ Double-pack with a photograph/ Extra track and a tacky badge. Morrissey’s lyrics drip with disdain for the way the business attempts to get fans to shell out for slightly different versions of what they may already own.

Barely a week goes by without a so-called classic album being dusted down and given the legacy/deluxe/special/limited edition — the wording varies — treatment.

The artists’ catalogue is the lifeblood of the industry,” says Charlie Stanford, the London-based marketing director at Sony. “It’s the engine room that drives the business. It’s always there in the background, quietly working away and generating revenue, though it’s up to us to maintain it, get people excited about it and keep it fresh.

“It’s by no means an exact science, though we do a lot of research into the perception the consumer has of certain artists and how we can make them more relevant.

‘Often you’re dealing with an educated consumer so you have to add content, whether it’s a bonus disc of rarities or a beautiful book which they haven’t experienced before. There was a time when you could whack on a couple of B-sides and just put it out there but now you have to go the full nine yards.”

Stanford and his team employ a system called “artist DNA” to find out what makes a musician appealing. “We use our own assumptions about what people want and take them to focus groups to see if they are correct,” he says. “For instance, lately we discovered that Elvis in his jumpsuit is far less appealing to people than Fifties-era Elvis.”

Closing Comments:

Major Labels have always used their catalogs as one of the primary ways to generate money (it is much easier to resell a old hit than create a new one), but a bad taste is left in our mouths when we think about the labels practice of tricking music fans into essentially buying the same product twice…(just with the addition of a new cover or one or two new songs).

Wisdom Key:

If you are an indie artist/band/musician/group/songwriter/producer/label, you can use the above practice to your advantage. Find ways to give your fans value…true value…through your product releases. Don’t find ways to trick your fans into buying the same songs from you twice but in a slightly different package….no…don’t do this…instead, roll up your sleeves and keep digging deep into the well to come up with new material.

If we (as fans) want to buy the same album twice…then we should have that choice without being tricked into thinking we are buying something containing new material. For example, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic Album disappeared from our office….its a classic…so it was no problem for us to go to the store (yes..we did not want a digital download..we wanted the actual album)… in order to replace it. There were no tricks…no faking us out….we knew exactly what we were buying…and the beautiful part….we wanted it!!!!!!!

Wisdom Key 2

Word of Caution about signing record label deals…..If you are a recording artist signed under an exclusive recording agreement, 9 times out of 10, you will have no control or say so over whether the Record Label can repackage your songs into different product offerings. Often times we see our clients become extremely frustrated by the practice of their Record Labels repackaging product without their (the artist’s) permission and/or consent. The simple truth is…Record Labels don’t have to get an artist’s consent unless this issue was conceded by the Record Label within the recording agreement…something that is extremely difficult to get the  Record Label to agree to do….

Let us know your thoughts on this topic!!!!


The Music Business Heretic © 2010 Cross Live Media All RIGHTS RESERVED For the MAKE YOUR OWN MONEY Movement…….